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One of the significant pieces of the recently-opened final phase of the $11.4 million Mooseheart School Renovation Project was a new gymnasium, which included a stage for concerts and other functions.
That stage got its first public use on May 12 when the Mooseheart band performed its spring concert, the first in years to not take place in the campus’ House of God. The new setting more than lived up to its billing as an improved musical space, said Mooseheart Band Director Steve Schmidt.
“We’re on a raised stage and it was very bright,” Schmidt said. “This is so much more conducive to showcasing our band. When you’re in something new, no matter what it is, like a nice shiny new car, it gives you a different attitude and approach to what you’re doing.”
Schmidt said the location of the gym/auditorium is helpful, as it is integrated into the school building and just a short walk from the band rehearsal room. Mooseheart’s band practiced on-stage in preparation for its concert.
“It’s nice that it’s connected to the school and the kids feel it’s a school activity,” Schmidt said. “I like the ability for passers-by to hear what we’re doing and to drop in and listen.”
Schmidt said this year’s band was one of his best in his 27 years at the school. Individual talent was showcased with a clarinet duet by John Vance and Tarry Johnson as well as a trumpet piece by Quinn Hunt.
Even the younger students in a band that encompasses both middle school and high school students show immense potential, Schmidt said.
“I have the middle school students every day, five days a week, through the semester, and it’s been the best thing for the program. Beyond any shadow of a doubt, they have the best sound of any band,” Schmidt said.